Is it the year to go for it?

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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Annan_Man on Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:17 am

cubby01 wrote:I think Nick is 19 next year so he is either NHL or OHL

Ah yes I forget about that rule. Then I think he will be back but could spend a few games with Vegas at the start of the season. I still don't think that puts next years lineup over this years or last years.

Still torn as to what this team should do. If Ollie was not brought in and Mack had lost the last 2 I'd still be firm with the "trade Gadjovich" call but Ollie could just be the affordable backstop that could keep us in games when the offensive is scoring like it has.

It's going to be an interesting few weeks.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Pitou on Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:04 am

My post topic is more general observations and may not be specific to this thread but touches on this. For the sake of not starting a new thread, I will attach it here.

Despite being short-handed of several key players, I thought the Attack played pretty well over the weekend. Scoring should return, defence was better. I think they deserved a better fate and ran into a couple of good goalies, who were the 1st Stars of the game each night. London never registered a shot until past the halfway of 1st period. An unfortunate high-sticking penalty 200 feet from their own net was difference. Their PP looked anemic. With that said, here are some general observation that are a snapshot thus far. The Attack transition and breakout of their zone is no where near as quick and fluid as last year. I don't recall last year seeing the frequency of defencemen accepting passes totally flatfooted and stationary while attempting a breakout forward pass. They are easier to defend entering the offensive zone this year.

HIT THE NET!! Especially on the PP, players are too often trying to pick corners from the point and missing the net, or shooting high where deflections are much more difficult. There are no rebounds if you miss the net! Players always seem to be out of shooting position for quick releases when receiving passes in the slot from the half-boards....and if there is a team that whiffs on one-timers more than the Attack, I have not seen it.

Back to thread topic. The Attack have some fixable improvements to make that should make them competitive with most any team. Hopefully this short bench will help other to step up and increase depth when they get a full line up back. There is not much required to turn these losses into wins, IMO. The confidence needs to come back most of all and the expectation that you are going to win. Poor goaltending has sucked the swagger and confidence out of the team. I still see this team being able to turn it around without a major overhaul.

Olivier has been decent. Is he the guy to get it done? Not sure. The losses have not been his fault, but a small sample size. He may not have lost the games, but the opposition goalies had won the games. The Attack need to have a few on that side. I don't recall a "stolen" win year.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby CHL Watcher on Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:33 pm

I'm happy to see that it's not just me...

I wrote this after the last game but didn't get a chance to post it until now. There is a little redundancy when looking at the two previous posts. That's a good thing.....and makes me feel a bit more confident when I say that I sense a change coming.

It was mentioned in one of these posts that the team has been essentially a little unlucky. No matter what the team seems to do on the ice there is always something that snatches away the points. Goaltending, untimely penalties, faceoff problems, injuries, defensive miscues/turnovers, international tournaments, personal issues, sudden loss of offense, shootout foibles, sickness, line juggling...
usually there are a number of these things going on each game. Yet the team still looks like they're taking it to the other after game. They still have great offensive numbers and a good powerplay. They come to the rink ready to play, in spite of all of the frustrating results.

I have a feeling that if Olie can get enough saves each game and continue to get involved with the play that we might see things come together before this is through. If the team can take the first part of the season with a grain of salt then everything changes. It hinges on goaltending.

When everyone is back we will see.....provided the trade deadline doesn't change things.

I think the goaltending looks capable. It looks better to me.

Remember that they are playing without

they are playing shorthanded with 16 skaters. There are defensemen playing forward positions and rookies playing defense. Almost everyone is playing up a line or two and/or playing in situations they don't usually play in. All things considered....the only thing that looks to be missing with this shorthanded crew is scoring. They're playing great, in my opinion.

The last two games were played against elite goaltenders. They simply showed how much goaltending means in the grand scheme of things. It couldn't be plainer. But I think the new guy looks pretty solid. Put the whole team in front of him and I think everyone will start to look better.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Noofgoof on Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:14 am

I scowered through some teams with OAs that arnt doing so good.. the one that I can see a move for who IMO shouldnt cost a ridiculous price would be McKenzie out of NB he hasnt had a stellar season this year todate however previous two years scored 28 goals with 38 helpers last year and 26 goals with 27 helpers the year before.. add in the18 points and 48 games and of playoff experience and the fact hes a centerman who might help on the draw and i think you might find a diamond in the rough.. price is likely higher then James last year but I think it would be a reasonable price..IMO this is a guy you go for.. he is on a struggling team and why give him one more harrah..
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby CHL Watcher on Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:13 pm

Good eye.

I think you're onto something there.

further to my other post....

The Attack are missing players that contribute an average of 5.83 pts per game. That's roughly two goals at minimum....
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Digger on Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:41 am

London Knights more likely to bulk up than stand still for playoffs

By Morris Dalla Costa, The London Free Press

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 3:43:10 EST PM

London Knights

If there’s even the slightest chance the London Knights are good enough to go deep into the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, they’ll do whatever they can to get there.

This may be the Christmas season, but the Knights’ resurrection from their start is more suited to Easter. It’s remarkable that they sit in second place in the Midwest Division, only six points behind the Kitchener Rangers.

They are fifth in the Western Conference, but with half the season remaining, they have plenty of time to chase down the Rangers. Finishing first in the division would give them at worse a No. 2 seed and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

If anyone had suggested that was a possibility after the 1-9 start, they would have been looked at like they'd grown a second head. Back then, it was expected the talk by this time would be where Knights players like Max Jones and Cliff Pu would be traded and what the Knights would get back.

But the Knights have gotten a sniff of potential success, putting them in the familiar position of looking to strengthen their team for a run rather dealing for the future.

There is one consideration that may prevent the Knights from taking a run at the playoffs, even if they believe they are good enough to win a couple of series. That consideration is what would be left of the roster for next year if they chose to deal some young assets or draft choices for players who can help them now.

The Knights have to be comfortable that they have enough young players who are good enough to help them over the next two or three years so they don’t have to deal veterans for younger players or draft choices. Keeping their veterans to make a run this year would indicate Knights management has judged the young players are good enough to form the core of the team over the next few years.

For many, the jury is out on that, although the only jury that counts is the Knights brass. But given the aggressive nature of this franchise, winning is never No. 2 on the list of their priorities.

As it stands, aside from the Soo Greyhounds and Sarnia Sting, there is not a lot of difference in talent among the teams in the conference.

“It’s hard to say what’s going to happen because there’s a lot of parity with the teams this year,” said general manager Rob Simpson. “There’s quite a lot of teams who might go for it.”

It’s a game of chicken come trade deadline. Which team will be the first to move and declare it believes it is good enough to win? Which team realizes, regardless how good they look now, they need to improve to put them over the edge, especially if the Greyhounds or Sting decide to bulk up.

Much of the talk about what the Knights will do revolves around the return of Victor Mete. Two days ago the return of the Montreal Canadiens' defenceman was almost a given after his stint with the world junior team.

But Monday the Canadiens shut down No. 1 defenceman Shea Weber, a man Mete started out the season partnering with. How long Weber will be out is unknown, but there’s less chance that Mete will return to the Knights the longer Weber is out.

The other question focuses on the Knights talent. There’s no question they have pieces that would attract teams looking to muscle up for the playoffs. But if the Knights decide to muscle up themselves, do they have the young players and draft choices coveted by other teams willing to dispense with their best players?

Last year the Knights went on a buying binge at the deadline that allowed them to get within one game of the OHL final. They brought in Mitchell Stephens, Mitch Vande Sompel and Dante Salituro; the cost was Ian Blacker, Chris Martenet along with 14 draft choices, some of the conditional.

This year the Knights have their first pick in the first round, one in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth, one conditional and a pick in every round through 15 except for the 14th. That’s nine picks in the first six rounds. Don’t forget teams are famous for throwing in meat wagons full of future draft picks because there’s always time to get them back in other trades.

The question is, do the Knights want to do what they did last year?

A betting man would say yes.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Digger on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:16 am

With London thinking about going for it this year and SSM,Sarnia and possibly Kitchener that leaves four pretty good teams in the west to beat. I doubt Guelph, Saginaw and Windsor gets involved this year.

Now with a goalie that makes the routine stops the Attack should be better. The last two games even though they lost they were the better team by far.

The Attack have an OA and import spot available to fill. Not sure what the asking price would be but there are some good OA's out there on weak teams that would not cost an arm and a leg to get.

I would think Raddysh is someone London would attempt to get and pay big for that deal or the Rangers.

SSM I'm not sure what else they need it may make more sense they stay with what they have right now or only minor tweaks.

Sarnia I can see adding at least one 1998 d man who plays in the top 4 on their team or two as they have a young defense.

Kitchener needs more offense and a goalie if their OA goalie is not going to play to be competive deep in the playoffs.

Should be fun watching what happens as the trade deadline draws close to the end January 10th.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Digger on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:35 am

The art of the deal
OHL general managers can define their season at the trade deadline
SPORTS 08:20 PM by Josh Brown Waterloo Region Record
Decision time

KITCHENER — Mike McKenzie is already getting ready.

The Ontario Hockey League trade deadline is approaching fast and the Kitchener Rangers general manager has some moves to make.

"I think this year we're going to set things up like a war room and really be prepared with a lot of help," he said. "You're working against a deadline and things need to be done at a certain time."

McKenzie has been through the drill before as an assistant GM but this will be his first taste as the main man in charge after taking over the post from Murray Hiebert last March.

The Rangers have reached the second round of the playoffs just twice in the past five years and both times they failed to move on.

This season feels different.

The veteran heavy Rangers are off to a strong start and sit second in the OHL's 10-team western conference. After years of shedding players and acquiring draft picks, the club is ready to start spending.

But the Blueshirts aren't alone.

All 20 OHL clubs are in playoff contention and only the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have emerged as a top contender. That means the phones will be ringing up until this year's trade deadline, which expires at noon on Jan. 10.

It's a fantastic time for fans waiting to find out if their home team will load up with superstars for a run at the league championship or retool with youngsters and draft picks for the future.

But it can be stressful for the decision makers.

"It's mentally draining," said Saginaw Spirit GM Dave Drinkill. "You're mind is going a million different ways and you're fielding calls for 48 hours straight. When it's over you need a day just to unwind and relax."

Added Soo GM Kyle Raftis: "It's exhausting. It's almost like that come down in university after exams when you take a breath after. There are definitely a lot of long and frustrating days. You're on the phone all day working on something and at the end you might not be further ahead."

Last season there was a flurry of activity leading up to the cut-off with a total of 45 players and 74 draft picks changing hands in the two weeks before the deadline hit.

Agreeing to make a swap is the easy part. Much of the work happens after it's done.

Paperwork must be filed and sent to the league for approval. In some cases no-trade clauses have to be waived, education information sorted out between the two clubs, particulars spelled out if conditional draft picks are involved and travel arrangements made.

Agents also have to be informed, press releases written and the news needs to be disseminated to the public simultaneously.

"You don't want one team announcing the deal in the morning and the other team is not ready and looks silly," said McKenzie.

Of course, the biggest — and worst — part is telling the players. It's something every GM loathes.

"It's one of those things that never gets easier no matter how many times you do it," said McKenzie. "It's tough seeing guys go that you have built relationships with especially when they aren't really expecting a trade."

Players that are unhappy with their role on their current club or those that have requested a trade are usually excited to be moving on. But, more often, hearing the news is emotional and accompanied by tears.

"It's hard," said Erie GM Dave Brown. "You become family when they're here. I always say any time you become desensitized to cutting or trading is probably when you should get out because if you're that kind of a hard person and it doesn't bother you, you're probably failing in other areas as a general manager."

Both sides have invested in each other, so parting can be awkward.

"You spent a lot of time with them and tried to take their game to another level and they put that trust in you," said Raftis. "I try to be as honest about it (a trade) as I can and hopefully they respect me for it down the road."

Raftis was thrown into the fire during his rookie season at the helm in 2014. The Greyhounds were a top team in the OHL and made three high profile trades at the deadline in a bid for a title.

"Within 72 hours we had traded for Anthony DeAngelo, Justin Bailey, Nick Ritchie and Connor Boland," recalled Raftis. "I always look back on that. It all blurs together for me. That, to me, was the craziest time on the job to this day."

Last year, Erie was one of the most active teams in trade talks. The Otters made some bold moves including one to acquire Warren Foegele from the Kingston Frontenacs. The overage forward became an impact player and was later named playoff MVP after the Otters won the league championship.

"I was going to watch games and Darren Keily (then head of hockey operations for the Fronts) and I got talking at the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic tournament and within a few days we were able to solidify that," said Brown. "That one was easy."

Not all swaps are so quick. Some take months to consummate while many never materialize.

"It's an ongoing chatter and you're always seeing where teams are at," said McKenzie. "There are a lot of trades that are talked about that never ever happen that a lot of people don't hear about."

Every GM has his own style when it comes to trades.

Raftis likes to pick the brains of his peers to not only see what they're looking for but to better understand how they are building their franchise.

Flint Firebirds GM Barclay Branch likes to strike early in the season so his club can develop chemistry.

Drinkill is all about the research.

"I try and do as much homework as I can," said the Saginaw boss. "I call a lot of people that might have connections to a player from way back in minor hockey to parents of former players that were on his team as a kid to maybe kids that I know that played with him."

Timing is everything. Raftis describes the dance as "an art form more than a science" and says teams often misread the needs of another organization which can lead to a stalemate during discussions.

"A perfect deal is a win-win-win," he said. "It improves your team, it improves the other team that year or in the future and it's a win for the player and a good fit on that side of it."

When it's time to strike, dealing can be like a chess match. Sometimes trades even change on the fly.

Brown remembers one such case during his first year with the Otters as the team's directory of hockey operations. He was GM Sherry Bassin's right hand man at the time and tasked with getting a pulse on the market.

He reached out to Mark Hunter, GM in London at the time, to see if he could land overage forward Phil Varone.

"I asked what it was going to take," said Brown. "He (Hunter) said two thirds (draft picks). I said all right."

Brown passed on the details to his boss, who completed the deal.

"Sherry calls me back and says I've got good news and bad news," recalls Brown. "The good news, he says, is that we got the deal done. The bad news is that it cost us a second and a third."

Mystified, Brown quickly called Hunter back.

"I said: 'You told me two thirds. What are you doing? And he said: 'I know but I've never gotten a deal done with Sherry so quick so I thought I better get a second-round pick in there too.'"

For the most part, the GM fraternity is a kind one.

"Some guys like to just call and say hey what's going on and beat around the bush," said McKenzie. "Other guys are more direct … and need a guy and ask if you would trade this player for that one."

Brown admits there are a couple of GMs that he prefers not to work with while Drinkill acknowledges that some teams are harder to deal with than others.

"There have been times when I've made a trade and hung up the phone and thought we might have paid a lot but we'll have to see how it turns out," he said. "But I don't think I've been fleeced."

Added veteran North Bay coach and GM Stan Butler: "Without using names there is always somebody that thinks they're going to put you up against the wall and take all the money out of your pockets. Some say here is what the deal is, take it or leave it."

Things were different under the old guard.

Branch remembers legendary coaches/GMs such as Brian Kilrea and Larry Mavety that kept swaps simple.

"They wouldn't look to gouge you," he said. "They would explain what you're getting in a player and what they were looking for. It was cut and dry. It was honest. I think now it can, at times, get into more of a cryptic dialogue.

"That said the league is filled with great guys. There isn't anybody out there that are red flags when you see their name come up on the phone."

The biggest difference is the sheer size of trades.

In 2016, the Sarnia Sting gave up two top prospects and 10 draft picks — including five second rounders — to Ottawa in a blockbuster deal centred around elite centre Travis Konecny.

This past January the Rangers received a second-round draft pick in 2025 from Windsor as part of a package for winger Jeremy Bracco. The player that will be used in that selection was seven or eight years old when the trade went down.

This season, there is a feeling that Windsor could receive one of the biggest bounties in league history if it decides to deal 18-year-old goalie Michael DiPietro.

"It's inflation," said Butler, who is in his 20th season with the Battalion but began his career in Oshawa. "What the dollar was worth when I started in the league to what it's worth now is totally different.

"I can remember my first year in the league we were going to make a big trade because we had a good team in Oshawa. It came down to we wouldn't give up a second-round pick to get a player and he was an NHL high end drafted player."

Social media is also a new wrinkle that muddies the water at trade time with armchair experts passing off rumours as fact on various online platforms. The impacts of the misinformation can be far reaching.

"People come up with trades they want in their heads," said Raftis. "It becomes a little bit of a headache. It can send a lightning bolt through your room when a lot of names are floated out there. I think a lot of fans forget that these are teenagers. It's not like they're pros and can handle it."

In the end, it comes down to treating people with respect.

It's a lesson Butler learned decades ago as a coach in Oshawa from then director of hockey operations Wayne Daniels.

"You want to make a trade with someone where both sides feel pretty happy about the trade so it allows you to make a trade with that person again," said Butler. "I've always kept that philosophy going in my life. Beating somebody once is probably not going to help you in your career down the road."

It's advice McKenzie should heed heading into next month's swap-a-thon.

Kitchener's shopping list is long. The team could use another star forward, a veteran defenceman and maybe even an established goalie — and perhaps more — if it plans on raising the championship banner for the first time since 2008.

The team is replete with draft picks and prospects which mean McKenzie will be popular among his peers leading up to the trade deadline.

And he's eager to chat.

His brief trading history suggests he's a shrewd dealer. But after nine months on the job he doesn't have any enemies.

"Not yet," the 31-year-old said with a laugh. "I'm still young though."
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby CHL Watcher on Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:59 pm

DD is like any other he does not enjoy trading players.

He needs another OA and another import player. Those are open spots. That makes it at least a little easier.......not having to create any holes, so to speak.

Let's hope he can get that done. Any improvement in experience and depth is going to make some difference.

I really don't see any of these opposition teams as out of reach for the Attack. It's entirely possible that the Attack go as far this year as last. If that's not far enough for you then consider the gate difference between selling and not selling. Solidifying the season won't hurt next season at all.......and trading Gadjovich would be throwing salt on a wound, in my opinion. He never would have been mentioned at all if proper preparation for this year was ever done in the first place. Going out and getting sub-standard goaltending and calling it good enough was and is hanging over the entire year. That's the wound. Trading a favourite away because of a lack of preparation would be a bitter pill.

I'd rather not. Olie may not be a savior....but he deserves a shot at it. It won't break his career if he fails.....but with even a little success he could really look good coming back. Gadjovich will be gone next season.....but I'd still like him to put his efforts in for us...for now. I know this team has been completely snake bitten....and I also know they have not given up. As long as they show a will to win I'm with them. They've still got it.

If there is one thing they have done this season that will serve them well in the playoffs it is learning to play hard in the face of all kinds of adversity. Let's hope there is no random adversity by spring.....but if there is they are now built to play through it.....and then some.

My intuition says don't blink. Not many teams can stop 'em if they have some goaltending, have their team all back on the ice and play a good defensive game. SSM? Sarnia? Maybe.......but I will have to see it over the course of at least four straight games. They can out-play anyone out there......they just need to outscore them, too.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Gordo on Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:49 pm

Trading away favorites is exactly what is required to contend regularly. Dale DeGray has an extra difficult job in Owen Sound because he is under pressure to field a competitive team every year. It was rumored that Windsor offered to trade McNiven for DiPietro last year. It was a deal that would have made sense for both teams - Windsor hosting the Memorial Cup and Owen Sound at least a year away from contending. However, DeGray can't make trades like that in Owen Sound because the fan base can't handle trading McNiven in the middle on a long winning streak. IMO the reason the Attack are struggling now is because they don't make trades like this. As a result they consistently field solid - but usually not championship - teams. DeGray and the rest of management does an excellent job given their market.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby CHL Watcher on Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:16 pm

Like Peterborough?
Oshawa? <<< where are their rewards this season?
etc, etc, etc?

Buying key players also wins championships.....but drafting gets you close enough to do it.

Selling them wins nothing but condemnation and futility....nine times out of ten.

Show me the teams that deal away their stars for picks and prospects......also known as a farm team.....and I'll show you another team that does the opposite. Which one wins the most? Pick your team. I'll pick mine......we'll compare.

Why do I get the distinct impression they've already made a deal in July or August? I cannot shake that idea.

That would be pathetic, indeed.....unless they're buying.

I would like to think the brass knows what they've got here.....and knows that giving up on it will get them nothing but raspberries.

Suzuki without Gadjovich next year. Durzi might be gone....Hancock could even be gone....Suzuki could, possibly also be gone. The whole thing comes apart next season for another year or two.

Big dog or farm team?
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby stevey on Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:33 pm

As much as the asking price would have hurt I believe McNiven,Durzi and picks for Di Pietro would have been worth it. Take Durzi's offense out of the lineup but insert Di Pietro's goaltending I believe we would be ahead.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby hllywd99 on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:52 pm

SSM is by far the best team in the west and anybody that chases them is dreaming.

The Attack should be selling. IMHO
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby CHL Watcher on Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:10 am

SSM is the best team in the league.

Who is second best?

Do you really know for sure?

Chasing SSM involves picking up an OA, an import and staying the course. There is no chase.

The two spots are open. Just play it out.

The market this time around is flooded. Gadjovich will bring less than you think.....and it won't likely help for a couple of years at least.

I get it if the the sell out of OS fans occurred in the summer. Otherwise I do not understand where you're coming from.

Top notch PP and top notch offense. Goaltending at the very bottom of the league. So who is better than the Attack if Olie can be a proper goaltender?

Oh, I'm serious. Given .900 goaltending they'd have a tiny fraction of the losses they currently have. That's just a demonstrable fact. So, I suppose you're saying Olie won't do the trick. Fine....that's very possible....maybe even probable...but he's two for two in unwinnable situations.....with a save percentage WAY over .900....and a 0.98 GAA...He's doing what's required......while missing a boat load of teammates for various reasons.....and everyone knew those games were a bust before they happened. He and the team, together, made it very interesting and even pulled a point out of the mess.

I can't believe you're capitulating so easily. I'm particularly not in that mood, since SSM is the recipient of your generosity and they arranged for the Attack to not get their goaltender. Why make it easy on them, eh? Wouldn't it be nice to give it a go? I'd love to see Olie help take them out. He only has to need for a wall.

London and SSM squeezed OS into this spot. But it isn't over yet.

This is probably the third best team the city has ever iced...


So, here's the deal. I am interested in selling only under one condition. Sell hard and do it directly to SSM's biggest rival.....and be sure that team is not London. What goes around....
Don't sprinkle guys around the league....just concentrate them in one place....and make it one of those strange trades that only makes sense next year. Join the shady bunch and start running with the big dogs. There you go.

Take Sarnia for example. They seem like they've always dealt straight with OS and heck knows they've waited long enough. Just a thought.
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Re: Is it the year to go for it?

Postby Digger on Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:54 am

CHL Watcher wrote:SSM is the best team in the league.

Who is second best?

Do you really know for sure?

That's a good question.

Sarnia and London for sure I think.

Include Owen Sound and Kitchener if they bulk up at the deadline.....and the goaltending gets better than what we saw the first half these two teams would have to be considered as well.
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